Wretch and Rascal obviously just love photo booths and everything about them. Hence the amazing snaps they produce for weddings, parties and events around the UK. With this, and to celebrate the launch of the spectacular new website here are some awesome, if not a bit geeky snippets of trivia about the history of these highly desirable machines.
It was in New York in 1925 that a Russian immigrant, Anatol Josepho, set up the first known photo booth with a curtain. It was an immediate success and 280,000 people used the booth on Broadway in the first six months... This began a new obsession with photography leading to 30,000 such booths in the USA by the end of WW2.
The Golden Era
Andy Warhol epitomised the move towards popular culture in art and the mass production of portraits of the famous and fabulous. In 1963, when asked to do a layout feature for 'Harper's Bazaar', he became obsessed with the raw and uncompromising images that he could get from a photo booth. When he took his first "selfie" it was in a New York City dime photo-booth. This 1963 'photo-booth self-portrait' has just been auctioned at Sotheby's in London and went for over 7 million pounds. He used this newly found style to capture the likes of Elvis Priestly, Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. He was one of the first people to imagine the power and the obsession with ‘the self’ that this medium exemplifies and he predicted, quite profoundly, that "in the future everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes". With this in mind Wretch and Rascals aim is to make everyone they capture a superstar!
The Berlin renaissance
"Coin-operated, temporarily private and strangely erotic" is how Asger Doenst and Ole Kretschmann described the photo-booth experience when they launched 'Kulturspace.com'; a social experiment to bring back the black and white photoautomat to Berlin streets in 2004. Advances in technology, especially mobile phones, had seen the near-disappearance of photo-booths from the world by the end of the millennium. They promoted "rediscovering the beauty of vintage photography" of the 50's and 60's. There are still 100's of these photoautomats in Berlin today and whenever Wretch and Rascal visit, we love using them.